The weather has become milder again after the recent cold spell so things have resumed out and about in the vineyard. Yesterday in Vouvray the pruners were out in teams sweeping through the vines in the drizzle. Here vines are often spur pruned and are very low to the ground making it hard going on the back.
Up high on the plateau these freshly pruned vines are surrounded by flint stones sitting on the surface of the soil.
Pruners often work in teams which allows them to progress rapidly.
Sarments or vine prunings are often burnt which lessens problems with viruses and diseases spreading in the vineyard.
When older vines cease to be productive or have died due to disease they are replaced by young vines dotted in and around the established vineyards.
Bernard Fouquet was in the process of disgorging his sparkling Vouvray brut zero. The wine is a 2007 and has wonderfully developed aromas on the nose and a fine mousse. Bernard is careful to only add enough sugar to create 4 bars of pressure. Around half a bar is lost during disgorging giving a wine with a final pressure of around 3.5 bars - fizzy but not explosive in the mouth.
We also took the opportunity to taste the 2011 wines of Domaine de Aubuisières with Bernard. Much more open and floral than the 2010's, I think this vintage will be a winner with wine lovers. Being a Chenin Blanc based wine, Vouvray can benefit from ageing although most of his young wine is sold and drunk young. If only consumers would hang on to them for a while - the results can be stunning and the wines are not expensive.